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Library hosts monthlong art exhibition

Work created by artists with disabilities

The 29th annual Georgia Artists with DisAbilities statewide exhibition will be on display at the Statesboro Regional Library throughout this month.

Hosted by the library and sponsored locally by the Pilot Club of Statesboro, the exhibit includes approximately 50 award-winning works of art from disabled artists across Georgia. 

The selections were chosen as award winners from 250 pieces entered in the Georgia Artists with DisAbilities juried art show held in Atlanta in September. The nine-city tour kicked off in Moultrie in October and will end in Douglasville in July.

“Georgia Artists with DisAbilities continues to be an avenue that allows hundreds of disabled artists to achieve recognition and commercial opportunities for their unique pieces of art,” said Glynice Hayes, the Georgia Artists with DisAbilities chairwoman. “The main goal over the years has been to identify and recognize those disabled citizens of Georgia who are creative, capable and talented in the arts, and to reward their achievements.”   

“These artists have overcome any obstacles resulting from their disabilities and created some amazing things,” said Elaine McDuffie, the heead of Youth and Family Services at the library and the Pilot Club vice president. “We are honored to have this exhibit here for the public to enjoy, and proud to be an advocate for the disabled in our region.”

The Pilot Clubs of Metropolitan Atlanta founded Georgia Artists with DisAbilities Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, in 1985, giving disabled artists throughout Georgia the opportunity to create original art, compete for awards and have their artwork displayed in a statewide tour and exhibit. It is supported by Georgia District Pilot Clubs. The goal of the Pilot International Foundation is “full citizenship for people who are disabled.”   

The mission of Georgia Artists with Disabilities is to provide avenues through which Georgia artists with disabilities can display their artistic accomplishments in all disciplines of the arts and to create public awareness of the artistic skills these artists have developed by overcoming the obstacles of their disabilities.   

Many mediums of artwork are included in the show, such as pottery, painting, sculpture, woodcarving, photography and weaving. The exhibit will be open at the Statesboro Regional Library, 124 S. Main St., from Wednesday through Feb. 28.

“Georgia Artists with Disabilities continues to be an avenue that allows hundreds of disabled artists to achieve recognition and commercial opportunities for their unique pieces of art,” said Glynice Hayes, GAWD chair. “We’re proud to be an advocate for the disabled in communities across Georgia and honored to put their art on display every year for the public to see and enjoy.”

Judges for the exhibit entries included:

•    Neda Abghari, a photographer, educator and arts advocate who seeks ways to use her photography as a tool to connect, engage and educate the community about its artists. In 2007, she began a photo documentary series through which she has captured more than 70 intimate portraits of creative individuals nationwide. This body of work inspired her founding of The Creatives Project, an arts nonprofit delivering much-needed arts education and outreach programs to the local community.

•    Jerushia Graham, a printmaker, fiber artist, art foundations instructor for the Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur and printmaking/book arts instructor for Kennesaw State University, Southwest Arts Center and Abernathy Arts Center.

•    Brian Hebert, who studied fine art at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., under Martin Peyton and Robert Cox. In 2001, he moved to Atlanta and started working at the Southwest Arts Center as an arts program specialist in visual arts, where he has taught classes in drawing and painting, art media and other instructional programs.

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